Archive for the 'General' Category

To Do: Go to 30,000 Feet

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Today’s To Do List:

  1. Design landing pages for email campaign
  2. Implement paid search ads
  3. Deploy transactional emails
  4. Publish blog posts
  5. Start drip campaigns
  6. Optimize key pages
  7. Plan sales promotions
  8. Develop creative for display advertising
  9. Post on Facebook fan page
  10. Design merchandise up-sells

The to-do list of what you need to do to manage your online presence is virtually never-ending. You have so many tools in your toolbox, and you never feel like you have the adequate time and resources to be doing everything you really want to do. It is so easy to get buried in the day-to-day activities of managing your Internet operations.

However, as important as those tactics are to your success, you can’t forget to dedicate time to step back and take a 30,000 foot view of your business and consider your opportunities.

Real game changing ideas come by thinking big. That type of thinking can’t be crammed in between analyzing your conversion funnel and adding new products to your online store. You need to find the time to really allow your mind to clear itself of the day-to-day minutia so that you can think strategically.

This is not the once-a-year strategic planning that other groups in your organization may be able to do. Given the rapid pace of innovation in our space, you need to be doing this much more frequently – for example, monthly. You need to get out of your office, turn off your phone, leave your laptop in your bag and let your mind explore the possibilities.

What implications do Foursquare, Quora, QR codes, NFC, a double-dip recession, tablets, electronic wallets, cloud computing, smarthphones, federal spending cuts, Groupon, unrest in the Middle East, etc. have on your business? What’s the next big thing? What are your competitors doing? Where is the venture capital money going? What are the real visionaries talking about? Is there innovation in seemingly unrelated industries that you may be able to leverage? What do your customers really need, and is there a way to provide them with a better experience? What assumptions are you making that you need to challenge? What does all of this mean in terms of risks and opportunities?

Are you ready for your trip to 30,000 feet? Are you ready to see the forest through the trees?

The Danger of the Status Quo

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

We tend to love the status quo. The status quo can be as comforting and reassuring as a child’s blanket or favorite stuffed animal. Alternatively, change can be intimidating, nerve-racking, and uncertain. The danger, however, is that love for the status quo can lull us into a false sense of security and blind us to both risks and opportunities.

The pace of technology, business, and even life means that everything is changing at a more rapid pace. Entire business segments are both created and made obsolete more quickly than any other time in history. Competitors come from seemingly nowhere and opportunities can be taken advantage of in a way not experienced before.


Image: Tambako the Jaguar

As such, we can’t be hypnotized by the status quo. It’s so easy to continue to do the same thing and too often organizations create or permit cultures where people become more concerned with protecting their turf than growing the business.

You don’t have to look any farther than Blockbuster to find a company where the status quo was doing quite well but they neglected to recognize the winds of change. As a result (and the excellent execution of Netflix), the company is in serious trouble.

The best way to avoid the danger of the status quo is to create a culture were the norms are challenged, creative thinking is encouraged and risks and opportunities are continually being evaluated. Departments needs to coordinate and collaborate, and leaders need to be required to look not just at what’s right in front of them but also what could be coming further down the road.

You can’t be certain what change is coming, but you can be assured that some type of change will arrive.

Shay Digital in Inc. Magazine

Monday, June 30th, 2008

inclogoIn the July issue of Inc. Magazine, there is an interesting article about how one of our clients, Successories, is transforming from a catalog-based company to a web-based company.  Steve, a founding partner of Shay Digital, is quoted in the story: